For Central processing unit, see CPU. The integration of a whole CPU onto a single chip or on a few chips greatly reduced the cost of microprocessor and microcontroller book pdf download power, increasing efficiency.
Integrated circuit processors are produced in large numbers by highly automated processes resulting in a low per unit cost. Single-chip processors increase reliability as there are many fewer electrical connections to fail. Before microprocessors, small computers had been built using racks of circuit boards with many medium- and small-scale integrated circuits. The internal arrangement of a microprocessor varies depending on the age of the design and the intended purposes of the microprocessor.
The ALU performs operations such as addition, subtraction, and operations such as AND or OR. As integrated circuit technology advanced, it was feasible to manufacture more and more complex processors on a single chip. 4- and 8-bit words up to today’s 64-bit words. Occasionally, physical limitations of integrated circuits made such practices as a bit slice approach necessary. Instead of processing all of a long word on one integrated circuit, multiple circuits in parallel processed subsets of each data word.
With the ability to put large numbers of transistors on one chip, it becomes feasible to integrate memory on the same die as the processor. This CPU cache has the advantage of faster access than off-chip memory, and increases the processing speed of the system for many applications. A microprocessor is a general purpose system. Other specialized units exist for video processing and machine vision. Microcontrollers integrate a microprocessor with peripheral devices in embedded systems.
These tend to have different tradeoffs compared to CPUs. Reducing digital noise improves ADC conversion results. Nevertheless, trade-offs apply: running 32-bit arithmetic on an 8-bit chip could end up using more power, as the chip must execute software with multiple instructions. Modern microprocessors go into low power states when possible, and an 8-bit chip running 32-bit calculations would be active for more cycles. This creates a delicate balance between software, hardware and use patterns, plus costs.
When manufactured on a similar process, 8-bit microprocessors use less power when operating and less power when sleeping than 32-bit microprocessors. However, a 32-bit microprocessor may use less average power than an 8-bit microprocessor when the application requires certain operations such as floating-point math that take many more clock cycles on an 8-bit microprocessor than a 32-bit microprocessor so the 8-bit microprocessor spends more time in high-power operating mode. Thousands of items that were traditionally not computer-related include microprocessors. Different features can be implemented in different models of a product line at negligible production cost. Microprocessor control of a system can provide control strategies that would be impractical to implement using electromechanical controls or purpose-built electronic controls. For example, an engine control system in an automobile can adjust ignition timing based on engine speed, load on the engine, ambient temperature, and any observed tendency for knocking—allowing an automobile to operate on a range of fuel grades.
The advent of low-cost computers on integrated circuits has transformed modern society. The first use of the term “microprocessor” is attributed to Viatron Computer Systems describing the custom integrated circuit used in their System 21 small computer system announced in 1968. During the 1960s, computer processors were constructed out of small and medium-scale ICs—each containing from tens of transistors to a few hundred. These were placed and soldered onto printed circuit boards, and often multiple boards were interconnected in a chassis.
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